Sales of hosiery were hard hit by the measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19, especially during the early part of the year. During the lockdown stores were closed which limited the opportunity for impulse purchases, with hosiery often purchase alongside other items of apparel and footwear.
While the lockdown and home seclusion seen in China in 2020 had a largely negative impact on sales of hosiery, there were some products that were able to benefit from the situation. Trapped at home the onus switched from style to comfort for many people, with footwear often forgone in favour of a pair of comfortable socks.
Hosiery worn during sport and exercise also witnessed a significant jump in sales after China started to lift its COVID-19 restrictions, with consumers keen to become fitter and healthier. Sportswear brands such as Fila, Anta, and Nike were all able to benefit from this, helping to offset the poor start to the year.
A trend which is expected to continue driving demand for hosiery over the forecast period is the growing interest in thermal tights and thermal leggings, which are commonly worn in China during the winter season. While ankle-high sheer hosiery is gradually falling out of favour, these thermal products are set for continued growth thanks to their practicality.
Like most areas of apparel and footwear, sales of hosiery are expected to receive a significant boost in 2021, with consumer confidence returning and consumers making delayed purchases. Nevertheless, with COVID-19 expected to put downward pressure on the economy it is projected that discretionary spending will also be squeezed, with consumers likely to have to pay more attention to pricing as the forecast period progresses.
Competition is growing fiercer in this highly fragmented category, with a strong presence of both small and large domestic and international players. Price is no longer the top criterion for consumers when selecting the hosiery they want, with competition now more likely to be based on brand, materials, comfort, fit, style and quality.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Hosiery industry in China with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Hosiery research and analysis database.
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